This August bank holiday weekend, the LGBT+ community in Manchester is celebrating Manchester Pride. As a diverse and inclusive NHS Foundation Trust, we’re supporting all our LGBT+ patients and staff members to be themselves without any fear or prejudice.

One of our LGBT+ colleagues, Amelia Cargo, working in the communications team at The Christie, talks here about why it’s so important to her that The Christie is an inclusive place to work, which celebrates and champions all marginalised communities.

I’ve worked in the comms team at The Christie for about three months now. My role is to tell the media and our colleagues about all the brilliant things we do as a Trust.

When I was interviewing for this job, I made sure to ask about what support networks were available for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people. The Christie has several diversity networks, including an LGBT+ one, which I’m now a member of. It’s really important for me to know that I’m working somewhere that is diverse and inclusive.

My sexuality doesn’t define me, but it’s definitely an important part of who I am. I’ve never had to hide any part of myself at work, but I know people who have, and can’t imagine what that’s like. I’ve been with my partner for nearly 13 years – her family is my family – and I can’t imagine not being able to talk about my home life with colleagues. I really believe that if people can bring their whole selves to work, they’ll be happier and better at their jobs.

Making memories at Pride

I grew up in the ‘90s when there weren’t that many legal protections for LGBT+ people. Things have changed so much for the community since then, and that’s brilliant, but there’s still such a long way to go. According to Stonewall, less than half of LGBT+ people feel able to be open about who they are to everyone in their family, and my home country of Northern Ireland didn’t legalise equal marriage until a couple of years ago. There are still situations where I wouldn’t feel comfortable holding my partner’s hand, or would think twice about coming out, and that’s not OK.

Pride is a time when the community, along with our allies, can both celebrate how far we’ve come and highlight some of the issues we still face. The parade is my favourite part, it’s honestly so wonderful to see many people from all over Manchester and beyond lining the streets in support. The vibrancy and joy of it makes me quite emotional.

I’m not going to be in the parade itself this year, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for all my new colleagues as the NHS entry goes by.

If you want to work for an equal and diverse NHS Foundation Trust, see the latest career opportunities at The Christie.